With faults and cracks discovered over the weekend in Sydney’s Mascot Towers apartment complex – and similar cracks in Opal Tower six months ago – the spotlight is back on the quality of New South Wales apartment buildings.
Research from the University of NSW in 2015 found that 85% of new apartment buildings had defects at completion – mostly with waterproofing and fire detection systems – and the certification system had “broken down”.
Philip Gall, the chairman of the Owners Corporation Network, says the current warranty is too short and too imprecise.
“What often happens is the builder or developer, to avoid their warranty obligations, wind up the companies,” he says. “Then there is nobody for the owners to pursue for defects.
“And there is always an argument as to what a ‘defect’ is. You’d be able to do that with a fridge but you can’t do that with an apartment. That is just appalling.”